A soft fog strokes its webbed fingers down wooden planks. The cabin’s small frame creaks in the morning chill.
The corner cot rattles. Dust streaks under cold, curled toes. You shuffle to the sink. You rub your bruised ankles together. Morning shudders through your paper-thin skin.
The mirror hangs alone above the sink. Your fingernails dig at milky water stains on its surface. You trace an outline of your sunken cheeks. They slope inward like a saturated grave. You suck at your dry lips. Blood rushes through the cracks. Their pink pallor turns a glowing red.
You spin the sink handle. Cold water drips from the faucet. It collects in your right palm. It hits your creased face like slivers of ice, serrated tips inching and itching deep under your skin. Your damp hands smooth through tousled, meadow hair. You tuck strands behind the edges of your ears.
A hard jagged blur creeps from the back of your eyes. It slides in a frenzied film over smoky irises. A heavy blink etches itself across your face. You grab the edges of the white sink. Swirling, sooty prints imbrue the slick polished surface. You look up. You your teeth grind. You gaze hard into the mirror.
I am propped and arranged in a chair. Its back is wedged into the far corner of the room. My blackened orbs glare silently at you. They shimmer through the silver-backed mirror.
“You were beautiful once.”
Your stomach burns and sinks like venom. It drips warm and fluid, deep into your intestines. You spin to reach for my glowing smile. It is a gaping, vacant hole. Your hard steps rattle across the room.
You lean above me. Your warm breath moistens a fissured forehead. Your fingers screech across my surface like a deafening crack. A dense ringing cascades from the deep hollows in the wall. You cough. It is raspy. It crinkles, and floats to pieces, like a dried leaf. Its crushed fragments scatter. They bounce across my dried skeleton.
You twist at the golden twine that binds my jutted wrist bones.
“This is forever, my dear.”
With a low growl it gurgles on the back of your tongue. It slips between your teeth.
A sticky black has pooled below the chair. It leaves inky footprints. It burrows in the soles of your shoes. You bend to slip them over pointed toes. You rub the wrinkles from your shirt. It is moist with the night’s glassy tears.
You grab your jacket from the peg beside the door. You shake it, hard and violent. You shudder. It wraps, and molds around your austere frame. The filigree clings to your body.
You push open the door. A fresh breeze claws into stagnant air. You glance over your shoulder, an assurance you’ll be back.
The gravel crunches under lead feet. You dig for keys in your jacket pocket. Headlights flash on the BMW X6. You begin your drive to work.